In today’s world, data is everywhere, literally. So naturally, the numerous ways data affects our life increase by leaps and bounds along with that. More data is created daily than what we made every few years, only a few decades back. Experts refer to such vast amounts of data as Big Data.
Big Data with Examples
You must understand more than a bit about Big Data before realizing its omnipresence. According to figures unearthed by research, we produce 2.5 quintillion bytes of data daily. Much of the devices we use these days act as data sources. They are connected to the net and create, track and store data or information. Internet connectivity is all set to penetrate deeper into even undeveloped societies. All the enormous data created in this manner are collected and analyzed to gain a greater insight into and understanding of human behaviour itself, irrespective of the milieu.
The Political Use of Big Data
The hit-or-miss rhetoric in public life is past us. Even a person with average intelligence can guess how behaviour analysis can potentially be used in the electoral process. Additionally, such data about behaviour facilitates creating socio-political simulations where you know what to say and promise to win. However, the availability of such data also presents a plethora of problems tasked with protecting constitutional norms and democratic institutions.
There are always nefarious elements in any society. The damage such elements are doing through knowledge of human behaviour and social psychology is very, very real. Democratic processes are being increasingly manipulated. We need to carry forward the social awareness fundamental to democracy and show collective wisdom that will guide us through this tumultuous phase. It can be considered as a kind of developmental process not quite unlike women’s liberation and empowerment. The end word is that the citizen MUST be enlightened and vigilant.
People can use Big Data to make individual profiles with detailed inferred or, in some cases, stated political preferences, views and characteristics. The profiles are then fed with news and carefully curated politically charged information in various content forms. Unfortunately, the line between democratic awareness and politically charged systematic disinformation is thin. Unfortunately, the realist school has not contributed positively to this predicament.
But the menace of fake news, disinformation and deliberate partial truth is something we need to combat today itself. The range and scale of the data available to election campaign managers make the task complicated and complex. The several complex targeting techniques they use after due profiling and the speed of delivery make the job a herculean if impossibly tricky exercise.
Worse still is that either laws are inadequate to protect democratic beliefs or states implement a regulation mechanism that cuts off the spread of political awareness and propaganda. Again, any legal provision needs the help of people in tech and other industries and their attitudes and behaviour.
Existing legal frameworks designed to curtail this exploitation often fall short, either in substance or enforcement. We need laws or regulations enforced, changes in tech-sector and industry behaviour, and expert allies to understand the role data exploitation plays in heightening this threat.
One way to combat the menace is through a reliable mechanism to validate information and facts, thereby breaking the “viral” spread of misinformation and propaganda. While most media platforms sport some such means, the vast quantity of users’ data makes the tool fall short of its intended functions. Community-based moderation is a good step forward in this regard.
The final solution to combat propaganda is raising awareness among citizens and the telling signs of fake news. These three moves can help minimize the role of propaganda and misinformation in the democratic process in any country.
Role in Business Branding
Data plays a tremendous role in ensuring brand longevity. Big Data and analytics have a crucial role in:
- Developing products faster
- Enhancing operational efficiency
- Get optimum ROI for marketing expenditure
- Providing a more satisfying user experience.
The sources of Big Data in the form of digital information are collected from all spheres of business. Now, as people become netizens than mere citizens, the interaction creates collectable and trackable data. In the past, people did data collection and analysis manually by creating files after documentation, maintaining spreadsheets and using legacy systems. The process was a long-drawn one and was an obstacle for brands in responding to market issues in real-time.
Businesses gather external data like those collected from market research and surveys and use their own CRM and ERP data. In addition, company teams often generate such internal data. One great advantage of employing such tech in your business activities is that it helps make balanced decisions and develop products with more significant insights and more sophisticated, refined and targeted marketing strategies.
Companies use external data-generation methods like market research and surveys. Additionally, many global brands access their internally generated data via enterprise application suites like ERP or CRM software. Using such systems results in balanced decision-making, insightful product development, and sophisticated marketing strategies. The essential things to know for marketers’ keen on developing business brands are as follows:
- UX is Significant, But it Must Follow the Marketers Vision
The boss of the marketing department is responsible for collecting data and getting insights from the data mining team so that senior leaders can decide the best course of action. This is because an optimum CX and UX experience and strategy are paramount to carry out their task correctly. Furthermore, as a marketer, they understand client motivations the best.
- Do In-depth Market Research for Optimum Brand Resonance
The best example of a brand carrying out market research in-depth and then retaining brand positioning and penetrating markets further is Starbucks.
The firm is known for its on-the-ground trials; paying attention to social media feedback and doing market research on other companies before presenting a new product has proved wildly successful.
As a result, Starbucks is highly regarded in the marketing world for staying on top of trends while successfully penetrating deeper into existing markets and getting their foot in on new ones.
- Let Data Decide Your Story to Enhance Engagement and Credibility
Content is of paramount importance in today’s marketing. And such content is even more effective when reliable data back it. Marketers have found that using data that solves consumers’ issues is more effective than simply promoting the brand. The former is thriving in large part due to its blend of credibility and emotion. Regardless of the format, the content is best when it is informed by individual data scientists or software(s) like Buzzsumo.
The biggest brands are tapping into the potential of Big Data, and they have been at it for quite some time. Such use of data is not confined to marketing and extends to a variety of organizational functions. The end goal of data in business branding will be to combine the worlds of data-centric market research and user-driven product development.
Role in Personal Branding
While the popular perception of data scientists is indeed considered appealing, there are many data scientists without suitable roles. Experts concede that the gap might be pretty simple to fill- add in stories. Stories help sell not only the product but your services and efforts as an employee as well.
Data affects personal branding in the following ways:
- When You Analyze Data and Get Insights, You Listen and Learn
Good storytellers understand the importance of listening while making up a story. Listening through the collection of data and its subsequent analysis is the listening personal brands need to do to better cater their services (learning) to the needs of the other person, in this case, your intended audience.
- Craft a Unique and Original Story
You are best informed about your story. Of course, there might be a bias to your view of the unique path that all of us share. Don’t be afraid for it but rather revel in our passions. A broad but insignificant appeal is far worse than targeted and passionate interest. This statement holds for a personal brand as well. Revel in who you are. If you feel confused, you can reference books meant for writers or marketers out crafting stories. And data is likely to help you figure out the personality profiles and demographics where your interests lie.
- Make Sure It’s Not a One-off Affair
Collecting data about prospective clients and consumers will help you in reaching out after a particular business offer is finished, irrespective of whether successful or not. Of course, the nature and content of the follow-up should be personalized, which is another aspect in which data and automation can help personal brands concerning customer satisfaction and experience.
The curse of human civilization is its differing actions when acting as an individual or as a group. Awareness again is the key. Restraint and logic are the keys. When you let data drive your decisions, you stand a better chance of making more rational and effective decisions.